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Learning by Observing and Pitching In

  • By: Barbara Rogoff, Itzel Aceves-Azuara & Andrew Dayton
  • In: The SAGE Encyclopedia of Out-of-School Learning
  • Edited by: Kylie Peppler
  • Subject:Teaching Methods & Learning Styles (general), After School, Tutoring & Out-of-School Programs

Learning by observing and pitching in (LOPI) is a multifaceted theoretical model that describes the features of a coherent and long-standing way in which some communities organize learning opportunities. In this informal learning approach, children integrate broadly in the activities of their family and community and learn by keenly participating in and contributing to the activities in which they are embedded. LOPI is one of many forms of what Barbara Rogoff has called guided participation.

Observing and pitching in to family and community activities is a way of learning that is used worldwide, for example, as children learn their first language. However, this paradigm appears to be more central to ways of learning in many Indigenous communities of the Americas than among European American middle-class ...

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